Afraid of the Dark

By: Wanda Fielder


     Darkness . . . the atmosphere of obscurity where thoughts run rampant and vision becomes quite clear within the mind. Imaginations prevail conjuring all sorts of lifeless vignettes that become animated within one’s cogitations. The deficiency of light might cause dimness to one’s sight; yet the mental scenes develop clearly.

     Can you recall the increasing fear that you felt as a child at bedtime when all the lights had been turned off? I can remember feeling an overwhelming, consuming fear of the darkness, and my imagination would go into full swing picturing every imaginable monster hiding in my closet or under my bed. When the fear became too unbearable, I would call out to my parents or perhaps run full speed ahead into their room.

     That is when there was no NIGHTLIGHT available! But, oh, what a difference a tiny little nightlight would make! The monsters disappeared because they hated the light.

     (At least that is what I perceived.) I could see all their hiding places, and they just didn’t stick around.

     In pondering the subject of darkness, my mind is drawn to the story of Jonah. Upon fleeing from his call to the city of Nineveh, he placed himself on a ship that was headed to Tarshish believing he was removing himself from the presence of the Lord. In his effort to escape, somehow Jonah slept through the great storm that the Lord had sent when even the mariners were frightened. Through the casting of lots they soon discovered that Jonah was the cause of the storm. The Bible says that when they cast him into the raging sea that it immediately became peaceful.

      Jonah was quickly rescued by the great fish that God had prepared for him. That is when he really understood his darkness. Not only did he discover the slime of the gastric juices, the horrific odor of the previously eaten seafood, the weeds about his head, but it was DARK! I certainly don’t believe that God placed an elegant brass floor lamp there for his convenience, but he had to deal with the darkness. In Jonah 2:1 we are told that Jonah prayed. In verse two the Bible says that he cried because of his affliction. Through this darkness, God was able to speak again to Jonah, and this time he listened. The great fish released him, and he became obedient to God’s call.

      Each individual experiences times in his life of overwhelming darkness. This may come in the form of a job loss or financial stress, illness, death or divorce. In this darkness or absence of light, it is easy to be consumed with fear and to forget the source of our light. Solomon advises us in II Chronicles 6:1, “The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” There are times that it takes the darkness to get our attention before we turn to our source of light.

      When searching for direction in my life or at a time of decision making, I am greatly comforted with the Scripture in Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” The darkness of indecision suddenly becomes clear when I turn on the nightlight of His Word. And again in Psalm 18:28 we can be encouraged with the words, “. . . the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”

     There is no need to be afraid of the dark when light is available. Psalm 27:1 clearly declares, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Darkness dissipates when light is present, so therefore, does one’s fear.



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